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Title: Leeches In Pond


ColdGold - January 8, 2009 06:19 AM (GMT)
I found a baby leech on the filter casing in my small pond with my year old fish yesterday. I found two more today.

I decided to put the 4 fish into the 6 week old quarantine pond. Was just getting ready to do so when I noticed something moving in the quarantine pond :huh: Fry :o

There are at least 6 babies in there. I set it up with plants and water and a filter from my 300 litre pond . I was going to put my sarassa in there on my vets advice to give the other fish a break from his bullying - couldn't catch him so it has just been sitting there.

Just sitting there and hatching babies <_<

Question: What are the chances of the leeches hurting the fish? Will the leeches just die if I take the fish out and there is nothing in there to live off?

The only place i can put the four 1 year olds in with the big fish. The sarassa will probably go completely mental.

My new 1500L tub isn't arriving until tomorrow :(

We have hit the sandstone shelf where we where digging the hole for the new pond so now I have to order some landscaping blocks to build up around the pond :(

Arrrgggghhhh :blink: leeches and new babies is all I needed :angry:

Broxandval - January 8, 2009 08:54 AM (GMT)
Hi VoldGold
Congratulations on the fry but the leaches you don't need as to what to do with them I'm at a loss. :(
Perhaps Robyn may have something up her sleave she could suggest you use to irradicate them.
Mind you if they are the right kind of leach you could flog them to the Hospitals here in the UK as we use them in promoting blood flow to damaged digits etc, a bit medieval I know but they work :o Laughy Laughy Laughy
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude

ColdGold - January 8, 2009 10:01 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Broxandval @ Jan 8 2009, 06:54 PM)
Hi VoldGold
Congratulations on the fry but the leaches you don't need as to what to do with them I'm at a loss. :(
Perhaps Robyn may have something up her sleave she could suggest you use to irradicate them.
Mind you if they are the right kind of leach you could flog them to the Hospitals here in the UK as we use them in promoting blood flow to damaged digits etc, a bit medieval I know but they work  :o  Laughy  Laughy  Laughy
rgrds
broxandval  Fishiedude

Thanks - I was flabbergasted when I saw them. Even though I knew they didn't look like tadpoles my brain kept saying "they can't be fish they must be tadpoles" :rolleyes:

It would have been good if we could have sold them last summer - couldn't walk anywhere at our place without picking up a leech.

I have read that you can't kill them in the pond without killing the fish. I have also read that they can give the fish blood flukes and/or some bacterial diseases.

I think the big sarassa is just going to have to deal with the kids moving back in. Should only be week or 2 until I have a bigger pond readyfor the whole family.

I hope the leeches will just die if there is nothing in the pond for them to latch onto.

Pool Guy - January 8, 2009 04:07 PM (GMT)
How long will it take for the leeches to die out? I suppose it depends on when it was the last time they fed. Might you draw them out by soaking your legs in the pond? :o Just kidding! :P

My only encounter with leeches was when I was in Australia, somewhere west of Darwin. I was walking on a path near a river and saw the leeches on the grass, but thought they were slugs. I even noticed that the "slugs" were hanging on to my calves, ankles, & feet, but payed no attention to them until I saw that they had increased in size and their color darkened. Immediately I pulled them off. Later I found that just grabbing & pulling the leeches off the way I did was not the best method for removal. Couldn't believe how long those areas bled after those suckers were off my legs!

Let us know what you decide to do ... and how it goes with the little blood-suckers!

PG

Broxandval - January 8, 2009 04:38 PM (GMT)
Hi Pool Guy/ColdGold
They feed the medical leaches on clotted blood in something like a stocking, so you could probably do the same sort of thing to catch them (perhaps baiting the pond with one or two of them. Ideabulb
Then as they gather on the stocking for a feast all you need do is keep hauling the traps out and remove the leaches that are attached to it. Nutzo Nutzo
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude Flowersmile

tlc - January 8, 2009 05:07 PM (GMT)
Sorry about the leaches and babies :( That is so gross about the leaches! I would totally hate the thought of having anything "stuck" to my skin. I would just freak out! I am glad we don't have them on my property. I hope you can get rid of them!

Tia

Maestro loco - January 8, 2009 05:23 PM (GMT)
Leeches are neat creatures. Great Bass bait. They are related to earthworms. When I took an aquatic biology class many moons ago, we collected leeches, as well as Platythelminths, by baiting with raw liver. Tie a string to a piece of bloody, raw liver and cast it into the water -- wait a few minutes to hours -- remove the liver and remove attached worms -- leeches and flatworms.

Don

frogman3 - January 8, 2009 05:25 PM (GMT)
I would rather find just about anything in my pond .....gators, snakes ect. than a leach. :(

PG, I would have freaked out if I was in your shoes!!!! Heck, I even freak out watching a movie when the actors get leaches on them. :ph43r:

KoiKrazy - January 8, 2009 06:02 PM (GMT)
My clay pond is full of leaches and big ones too. 6-7 inches in length. I don't think they feed on fish???? Maybe they eat the little water bugs in a pond. I have never seen one on a fish. I have never had a sick fish in the clay pond so I don't think my leaches pass on any diseases. Between the snakes and leaches, the clay pond is sometimes a very YUCKY place to visit, lol. I tell you at least the leaches stay in the water or stick to the wharf, etc. I hate those damn snakes. Seems I always see them when I am wearing flip flops. Its best to wear rubber boots everytime you visit the clay pond, lol. There is no worse feeling for me than putting on the chest waders and going chest deep in that water to work on the wharf. Waaaay to many gross creatures in there for me!

Robyn - January 8, 2009 08:56 PM (GMT)
Leeches get a bum rap. Not all leeches are blood suckers. Most ponds will have leeches in them that are feeding on dead plant and animal matter in the pond. My ponds have a lot of leeches but they are the detritivores not the parasites. So, how do you tell the difference? Blood-sucking leeches need to be on their prey at least some of the time. So, if you see leeches stuck to your fish, snails, frogs, or your legs, you have the carnivorous type. If you see lots of small leeches in the filter or around the pond but not on the fish, they are the detritivores. Those leeches are not harmful, at least not any more than say aquatic earthworms.

To catch some leeches, do what Don said, cast in a mesh bag with raw meat. Leave it in overnight. In the morning, it should have leeches on it if you have hungry leeches in your pond. That can be repeated until most are gone. Without a host, the parasitic leeches will die in a few weeks. They can suck on fish, frogs, snails, people, and all sorts of animals depending on what species of leech that it is. They usually specialize on a certain type of animal.

To totally kill leeches in a pond, you'd need to put poison in there like bleach which is NOT a good idea! Organophosphate insecticides may also kill leeches (but most everything else too). Dimilin sometimes works; it's the least toxic option but still not good to use.

Maestro loco - January 8, 2009 10:22 PM (GMT)
I really wouldn't get too uptight about leeches and trying to get rid of them. I would bet that most of the leeches that you see in backyard, homemade ponds are of genus, Placobdella, species of which also inhabit the nasal cavities of ducks, geese and other such water birds. If you completely rid your pond of those leeches, they'll be back, brought to you courtesy of water birds. Placobdella rugosa is one species that I discard if I find them, as they are especially fond of parasitizing turtles. When I find one on a turtle, I pull it off and destroy it. The big ones that KK is talking about in her pond are probably Hirudo medicinalis which are real bloodsuckers and valuable for use in medicine where they help maintain circulation for reattached amputated body parts. They also are a source of the anticoagulant heparin.

Here's a cool video of "Dirty Jobs" host, Mike Rowe, catching leeches.

http://revver.com/video/1277227/dirty-jobs-leech-trapper/

Enjoy

Don

ColdGold - January 8, 2009 11:12 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Pool Guy @ Jan 9 2009, 02:07 AM)
How long will it take for the leeches to die out? I suppose it depends on when it was the last time they fed. Might you draw them out by soaking your legs in the pond? :o Just kidding! :P


Laughy Laughy Laughy


Route3drummer - January 8, 2009 11:18 PM (GMT)
no Don no...not gonna watch it!! You can't make me!!!!! :blink:

Broxandval - January 8, 2009 11:19 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maestro loco @ Jan 8 2009, 05:22 PM)
I really wouldn't get too uptight about leeches and trying to get rid of them. I would bet that most of the leeches that you see in backyard, homemade ponds are of genus, Placobdella, species of which also inhabit the nasal cavities of ducks, geese and other such water birds. If you completely rid your pond of those leeches, they'll be back, brought to you courtesy of water birds. Placobdella rugosa is one species that I discard if I find them, as they are especially fond of parasitizing turtles. When I find one on a turtle, I pull it off and destroy it. The big ones that KK is talking about in her pond are probably Hirudo medicinalis which are real bloodsuckers and valuable for use in medicine where they help maintain circulation for reattached amputated body parts. They also are a source of the anticoagulant heparin.

Here's a cool video of "Dirty Jobs" host, Mike Rowe, catching leeches.

http://revver.com/video/1277227/dirty-jobs-leech-trapper/

Enjoy

Don

Hi Koi Krazy
Wow you may have a fortune in your pond and you didn't know it !!!.....
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude

ColdGold - January 8, 2009 11:23 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the info - very helpful for deciding what to do :)

The leeches I found in the pond were so young that they were still almost transparent.

They did however look like the ones that we had last year and those were definitely blood suckers.

I had to get them off my dogs feet and lower legs quite a few times and they were quite bloated with blood. In fact the way I knew that at least one dog had a leech on it was the blood smears on the floor.

We just used salt to get rid of them.

I don't know how they got up here - our neighbour has lots in his valley but last year was the first time we have seen them here - it was a very wet summer though.

As I haven't seen one on a fish I think I will risk leaving the year old fish in the pond that the leeches are in for the moment as things have calmed down in the adult pond and I don't want to set my sarassa off again if I can help it and I don't want to stress all the fish out with by changing anything just before I am moving them anyway.

My new pond tub arrives today and I am hoping to get the bedding sand tomorrow so I can have it set up in a few days and have it running while I landscape so it won't be too long before I can move fish to bigger ponds.

When the fish are out I will leave the leech pond with out fish and the leeches should die (I hope). I can use the 300L as a quarantine pond and the frogs can have the leech pond back. The fry can stay where they are until they are big enough not to be eaten.

Broxandval - January 8, 2009 11:39 PM (GMT)
Hi Cold Gold
If they were in your neighbors valley and you had a wet summer you can garantee they use the wet weather to move from place to place so all they will do is follow the fish to the next pond. :(
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude

tlc - January 9, 2009 12:13 AM (GMT)
Don, I saw that Dirty Jobs the first time and it freaked me out! :o I think I will pass on second time but thanks for the link. :rolleyes:
Tia

Maestro loco - January 9, 2009 02:10 AM (GMT)
Don't count on the leeches dying out any time soon. After a blood meal, many leeches can go a year and sometime two before they need to eat again.

Don

ColdGold - January 9, 2009 02:25 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maestro loco @ Jan 9 2009, 12:10 PM)
Don't count on the leeches dying out any time soon. After a blood meal, many leeches can go a year and sometime two before they need to eat again.

Don

mmm I was just reading that <_<

The ones in the pond haven't eaten- you can see through them. They are very very young just hatched (do they hatch?)

These ones must live on land or in water - they are usually on damp thick foliage, long grass etc.

KoiKrazy - January 9, 2009 02:29 AM (GMT)
great I read Robyns post and feel happy I have the none blood sucking kind, then I read Don's and now there is NO WAY IN HEL* I am going in that pond naked if I see a fish alive like I said I would....I completely RENEG on that one ;)

Maestro loco - January 9, 2009 04:28 AM (GMT)
KK

If it's any consolation, I remembered the species wrongly. Hirudo medicinalis is the EUROPEAN medical leech, which is now very rare. The large one in Canada would be Macrobdella decors, the NORTH AMERICAN medical leech. I'll bet that's the one you have if it's as big as you say. It will suck your blood in a Canadian way AND it's just as useful as Hirudo

Don

Whisper - January 9, 2009 05:01 AM (GMT)
Don't fish eat them?

Broxandval - January 9, 2009 10:24 AM (GMT)
Hi Whisper
We don't think they do.
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude

frogman3 - January 9, 2009 01:13 PM (GMT)
Leeches are very popular bait that can be found in the serious bait shops in the US. They keep them in clear gallon glass jars sitting on the counter. They are used for catching Bass and walleye for the most part. Now which species of leech it is you would have to ask Don. I love fishing but that's the only bait I would not use. Would not touch those slimy blood suckers! <_<

Broxandval - January 9, 2009 01:34 PM (GMT)
I Vant to suck your Blood (should have called them vapires not leaches). Laughy Laughy Laughy.
I beleive that some of them can give you nasty infections via the ponds they inhabit sicky sicky
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude

Sorry the nearest thing we could come to a Bat was this Butterflyfunny Laughy Laughy Laughy Laughy use your imagination there Laughy Laughy Sorrydude

KoiKrazy - January 9, 2009 05:38 PM (GMT)
The DH likes to scoop them out of the pond with a stick and fling them at me. Well he only did that twice ;) Maybe this summer I can get a picture of those big suckers for you. Fish definately eat leeches but I don't know if Koi do. I imagine maybe the big ones like Naval might?? I am pretty sure he would rather eat his cherrios though :rolleyes: However.....he sure did gobble up that baby fish I put in his pond :angry: Ha Ha, maybe this summer I can tie (well not me but maybe my Dad) a leech to a string and drop it in the pond and see if Naval likes it.

Broxandval - January 9, 2009 08:04 PM (GMT)
Hi Koi Krazy
Well Val and have learned something in that fish eat leaches over hear we have never heard of anyone having any leaches let alone being infested with them. :blink: :o
Sadly all fish have a touch of the cannibal in them so it's not just koi I suppose thats why they are so productive egg wise. :o
rgrds
broxandval
Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude
Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Fishiedude Laughy

Maestro loco - January 9, 2009 10:55 PM (GMT)


I didn't know the species of the leech that is used as bait. I've bought them and used them in fishing for bass and walleye. I only know the names of the leeches that I made part of my aquatic collection for a class almost 40 years ago. BUT, I did find it:

Nephelopsis obscura, the ribbon leech.

frogman3 - January 10, 2009 07:03 PM (GMT)
Well Don, now I can fish with these leeches since I googled Nephelopsis obscura and found it is not a blood sucker and only preys on other invertebrates. What I did find out the blood sucker types can transmit HIV and Hepatitis B and have been found to do so in Africa. :(

Whisper - January 10, 2009 07:15 PM (GMT)
YIPS, that's scary thought. :wacko: :o

Maestro loco - January 10, 2009 08:58 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
What I did find out the blood sucker types can transmit HIV and Hepatitis B and have been found to do so in Africa. sad.gif


Wow!!! I hadn't heard that! Scary thought, but then, in Africa, those diseases are rampant among the population and people use the waters for bathing and such much more than in other parts of the world. I know now that I won't be collecting aquatic things when and if I go to Africa. I'm not going to worry about that in this country. I don't think I'd want to wade in waters in Africa anyway, what with diseases like dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm). Google that if you want to get grossed out.

Don

Broxandval - January 13, 2009 12:32 AM (GMT)
Hi Maestro loco/frogman3
That is frightening if you can catch it through leaches just think of all the other countries who have blood sucking leaches and the frightening thought that it could be spread through them also.
I wonder if anything else that feasts on us will ever be able to spread things like that in the future.
rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude




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